American Express and Santander join Ripple for blockchain payments

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American Express has joined Santander in partnership with financial technology service provider Ripple to help simplify international money transfers between the United States and the UK.

The American Express FX International Payments (FXIP) platform will go through RippleNet, the fintech firm's blockchain network. Blockchain makes it possible to store large amounts of data on a diverse computer network rather than on one central server. Originally used for bitcoin transactions, blockchain has become increasingly popular for digital processes like payments and identity verification.

JPMorgan, Barclays, HSBC and numerous other financial institutions have already been testing out blockchain and distributed ledger platforms.

“This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world," said Marc Gordon, American Express Executive Vice President and CIO.

Once active, the American Express blockchain partnership will allow US customers to send traceable cross-border payments to Santander bank accounts in the UK instantly.

Santander's Head of Global Transaction Banking Jose Luis Calderon said in a statement: "This blockchain solution opens up a new channel between the US and the UK and presents significant opportunity for payments globally."

The Ripple blockchain network will make it possible for American Express and Santander customers and their recipients to better track the status and cost of each transaction. They will also be able to send money across borders in real-time.

“We're taking a huge step forward with American Express and Santander in solving the problems corporate customers experience with global payments. Transfers that used to take days will be completed in real-time, allowing money to move as fast as business today," said Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

Though the American Express and Santander partnership with Ripple will at first only extend to US customers making international money transfers to Santander accounts in the UK, both financial institutions suggest the platform could eventually extend to customers worldwide.

Nigel Frith
Nigel Frith
Former Global General Manager
Nigel was the Global General Manager at FXcompared. Nigel has a background in marketing for businesses and consumers as well working in a variety of online financial services roles. Read more

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